June 03, 2011


More and more I am valuing hand-made goods.

I suppose growing flowers and creating bouquets to sell, and silversmithing has been teaching me, through my own experiences, the care and thought that goes into artisanal products. I love that one person has thought through the whole design and creation/manufacturing process. It just has so much soul and artistry in it, one person's vision and inspiration rendered in matter as well as imagination.

I know I have mentioned her before but for sheer artistic vision, Jaime at  The Monkey Flower Group has always been a huge inspiration for pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved artistically with flowers. She is more artist than florist in my mind (although a top trained florist she is!), and that originality inspires.

Creating pieces of jewellery out of precious metal and gemstones is becoming the creative love of my life along with the flowers! The process of design and construction is not easy with such an unyielding material, but creating the right environments for that metal to flow, solder, stretch, bend, be transformed by fire, hammers, saws is the most exhilarating and absorbing experience. I am having to learn precision, patience, focus, co-ordination....not things that always come naturally. So the metal is teaching me!

With this increasing passion for hand-made in mind I have been discovering various great online sites, etsy, folksy, bigcartel, coriandr, heartsy, which act as emporiums for thousands of artists to sell their hand-made goods. Not everything is wonderful of course, but much is. I couldn't resist these little lavender bags from Driftwood and Daisys site on Folksy, perfect for teacher presents at the end of the school year, although I'm so tempted to keep one for myself!

There are other sites that promote and support artists and crafts people as well, providing forums and growing online communities of artisans, and since many makers work alone, this is both useful in terms of information, promotion and support, but also gives a sense that though you work alone, you are in fact plugged into an artistic community. UK Handmade is one such site, as is Poppytalk, both well worth a look for the fabulous artists they showcase. Another is Gussy Sews, and although I am a day late, (that is halfterm with 4 kids for you!), I am joining up with her weekly blogger's inspiration day each thursday, and am right behind her attempt to provide a supportive network of bloggers who are involved in creative endeavours.


  1. Hello Belinda:
    You are so right about handmade products. At their best, one can really feel the love and creative talent that has gone into their construction. In these times of economic difficulty, it is so good to support these small scale producers who are trying to make a living from their own endeavours.

    And, for us, this extends to food. We should so much rather have quality artisan bread, cheese, cakes etc. etc. than their mass produced equivalents. Yes, they are more expensive and so it is not always possible to just eat these things, but then we would rather have a little less of better quality.

  2. FINALLY I can leave a comment, Belinda..it's been a week since I wanted to say
    Congratulations! And I am eagerly waiting for my own beautiful pair of seed earrings to come.
    Yes, Jaime rocks the flowers!

  3. Hi Belinda,

    You are right about handmade products. I do like them better than fabric made things. You can often see how much love and time the artist spent on it.

    The floral bouquet on your photo's looks beautiful!

    Have a happy weekend!

    Lieve groet, Madelief

  4. I have been amazed at the amout of talented people there are since I started blogging. I was of course delighted with your wonderful brooch and also purchased a charming driftwood sculpture from Kirsty Elson at Sixty One A.
    I also love the lavender bags and cushions from Tess, who you mention at Driftwood.
    I was so interested to read your comments on my post and have something I think your Father would very much like to read. If you wanted to email your address to me, I will forward it to you so you can pass it onto him. Abby xx

  5. Once again, Belinda, you have beautifully articulated my feelings, this time regarding the amazing sense of community imparted by the blogging world and smallscale online marketplaces. I feel so lucky to have met you- not only have you, your blog, and your business been amazing sources of inspiration and support, you have introduced me to so many other wonderful small businesses and individuals as well! So thank you for that, as well as your continual kindness, energy, and thoughtful insights. It has made all the difference in this first year.



  6. Beautiful bouquets. I do not have this talent or even could imagine making jewelry. You are fantastically talented.

  7. beautifully worded, and beautiful flowers to accompany it. Thanks for the mention, I hope you like them. x

  8. There is no comparison between handmade items to the cheep mass produce items you find in shops and you have shown some fine examples of beautiful handcrafted items x

  9. Agree Belinda, it's like food grown yourself, the time and care taken shines through. Love those flowers.